National Geographic : 2015 Jan
“TH E R E IS A REAL CHANCE YOU WILL NEVER DIE, SINCE MORTALITY MAY BE JUST A TECHNICAL PROBLEM WE SOLVE.” —Byron Reese HOW WE WILL HEAL WITHIN 10 TO 20 YEARS Bertalan Meskó Medical Futurist Author of The Guide to the Future of Medicine The next decades of medicine and health care will be about using technologies and keeping the hu- man touch in practicing medicine. Everyone’s genomes will be se- quenced to access personalized treatments. We’ll measure almost any health parameters at home with diagnos- tic devices and smartphones. The 3-D printing revolution will produce affordable exoskeletons and prosthetic devices. ART: OLIVER MUNDAY HOW WE WILL BE POWERED WITHIN 50 YEARS Michael Brune, Executive Director, the Sierra Club Author of Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil and Coal Within 50 years the world should be able to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy. Within the next couple of decades, every time you turn on a light or power up your computer, every bit of that electricity will come from clean, renewable, carbon-free sources. Soon after that, solar and wind will displace nuclear as well, at which point we’ll be getting 100 per- cent of our electricity from renewables. By 2030 we should be able to cut transportation oil use in half and then cut it in half again a decade later. Once we’re finally fossil-fuel free, we’ll not only see our climate stabilize but we’ll also rest secure knowing that we can get all our power from sources that are safe, secure, and sustainable. It’s already within our grasp. HOW WE WILL AGE WITHIN 20 YEARS Byron Reese, Tech Entrepreneur Author of Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War Since technology grows exponentially, not in a linear way, we will see dramatic improvements in our way of life in just a few years. Though it took us 4,000 years to get from the abacus to the iPad, in 20 years we will have something as far ahead of the iPad as it is ahead of the abacus. This means that soon we will be able to solve all problems that are fundamen- tally technical. These problems include disease, poverty, hunger, energy, and scarcity. If you can live a few years more, there is a real chance you will never die, since mortality may be just a technical problem we solve. All these advances will usher in a new golden age, freed from the scourges that have plagued humanity throughout our history.